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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Election timetable not a surprise, IEC tells complaining political parties

'Anyone who is preparing to contest the election should know that once an election date is proclaimed, the train starts moving.'

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has told political parties complaining about the election timetable ahead of the polls on 29 May to just get along with it.

This after complaints from Arise South Africa about the collection of signatures and election date, among other issues.

Briefing the country on the state of readiness ahead of the elections, the IEC’s Dr Nomsa Masuku said nothing was a surprise to those who were contesting the elections as everything had been announced.

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“When it comes to the pressure that the contestants are feeling about the signature requirement, as the IEC has said previously, the portal for capturing signatures has been open since 26 January 2024, so contestants have had some time to begin the process,” she said.

“Anyone who is preparing to contest the election should know that once an election date is proclaimed, the train starts moving because we have an election timetable.

“I don’t think it’s an excuse to say that the election timetable has caught people by surprise. It is a logical thing that must happen once the election is proclaimed. We have an election timetable and once that happens, we have a series of things that happen. They should continue and collect those signatures as earnestly as they can. The train is moving, let’s move along together.

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“As it pertains to contestants, the timetable is equally crucial in that it contains key dates to be complied with relating to the nomination of candidates and the payment of prescribed deposits.”

Since the proclamation of the election date by President Cyril Ramaphosa and all the provincial Premiers on 23 February, the voters roll has been closed and the election timetable closed.

The IEC has started the process of voter verification to ensure compliance with the provisions of the law in respect of eligibility to vote.

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“The Electoral Commission reiterates its willingness and ability to deliver this mammoth national project. The publication of the timetable and the cut-off-dates it entails serve as an impetus for the intensification of the preparations. All staff of the Electoral Commission stand ready to fulfil their tasks and thus ensure that it meets its constitutional duties pertaining to the 2024 general elections.”

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